My Recipe Box

Eggplant & Pepper Dip with Yogurt, Garlic & Walnuts

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Yields 3 cups.

I prefer the texture you get when you grind with a mortar and pestle, but a food processor works well, too. This dip tastes best when made ahead; it keeps well for two to three days in the refrigerator.

  • 2 small globe eggplant (a little less than 3/4 lb. each)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar; more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Light a grill fire. Grill the eggplant over the open fire or gas flame, turning them frequently, until the skins are black and parched and the flesh feels soft when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin and put the flesh in a colander. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill the bell pepper until it's soft and blackened on all sides, about 15 minutes. Seal the pepper in a paper bag for about 15 minutes. to cool, and peel when cool. Remove the seeds; peel and chop the flesh. Gently squeeze the liquid from the eggplant and transfer the pulp to a mortar or a food processor, along with the bell pepper and chiles. Grind or pulse to a coarse purée. Stir in the garlic, yogurt, walnuts, vinegar, and olive oil; taste and add salt and more vinegar if you like.

Mound in a serving bowl and let stand at room temperature for several hours. Garnish with minced parsley, if you like, and serve at room temperature with crusty bread, pita triangles, or crackers.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per Tbs.; Calories (kcal): 15; Fat (g): fat g 1; Fat Calories (kcal): 10; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 0; Protein (g): protein g 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 25; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

While this was good and I let it sit in refrigerator as recommended for 24 hours, the texture was a little rough and it was very firm. Even after coming to room temperature it was not smooth and silky. May need to cook eggplant longer or add more yogurt. It is a good health item to add to the appetizer offering at a party.

My husband and I had an eggplant-yogurt dip with walnuts in Athens, Greece, and we both absolutely loved it. I searched high and low for a recipe. This version is excellent. I made no changes to the recipe, it is perfect as is.

I had a little confusion when matching the recipe to the list of ingredients once I started...I was doubling the recipe already so "1 small green bell pepper" listed twice was easily over looked...the recipe said to "roast peppers", then later to "add peppers & chili", Luckily I had a jalapeno on hand & roasted it & added to recipe along w' a little more red wine vinegar. The result was a delightful surprise.

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